By Alvin Tsang
After more than 70 venue cancellations in 2020, the owner of the Orange Art Gallery says the business survived the pandemic, with new exhibitions open this fall.
Ingrid Hollander, owner of the family art business, is thrilled to host artist Jennifer Kershaw in a new exhibition titled The Persistence of Sense Memory, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 7.
“The artist had lost her sense of smell and taste for 20 years, and this exhibit is of all the memories coming back now that she’s regained them,” Hollander said. “The paintings are very deep, and she’s one of our strongest artists.”
Twelve of Kershaw’s paintings are on display at the exhibit. Each painting depicts a memory of a rediscovered scent or flavour that she had once lost.
“It’s amazing the number of people we’ve been getting,” Hollander said.
Orange Art Gallery features around 30 artists during the year, with nearly all of them from the Ottawa area.
“We feature mostly local art, and we like that because it gives people the chance to meet the artist, and there’s that good connection,” she said. “We also believe in supporting local.”
Orange Art Gallery is a multi-business gallery that sells art, hosts events and teaches art classes.
Art classes at the gallery have been on pause since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite the recent gallery buzz, it was a firm decision to wait until next January or February to restart classes.
“I want to wait until things are really back to normal before we start again,” Hollander said.
More than 70 weddings and corporate events had to be cancelled last year, but things are looking up this month.
“Now we’re really getting booked,” Hollander said. “There were over 70 cancellations last year, and, of course, countless again this year, but bookings lately have gone through. So next year is nice and booked.”
While the pandemic impacted much of the gallery’s business, art sales were consistently successful, according to Hollander.
“I find people coming in, and I notice people do have an extra bit of money because they haven’t gone on vacation and haven’t been able to spend their money,” she said. “Home has become all the more important, with people setting up home offices, spending more time at home. Paintings-wise, things have gotten very busy, especially in the last few months.”
Right before the pandemic, the gallery had set up a website that allowed for easy online purchasing of paintings which was fortunate timing.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people buying online too,” Hollander said. “Because of the shutdown, we were closed, but, luckily, we had already set up our website.”
Hollander believed that the COVID-19 pandemic would be short-lived in the beginning. The first few cancellations and closings had hurt, and it was a lot of extra administrative work, stress and feeling upset.
“But I can say we got through it,” she said. “We survived the pandemic.”
To learn more, visit orangeartgallery.ca